Slovenia is a lovely country where many people move to live, work, and raise children. Although it is small, it is full of opportunities. It is also a very green country with beautiful landscapes and activities to enjoy. If you are thinking about relocating, Slovenia could be the country for you!
Marco and Martina are a couple living in Ljubljana. Marco is Italian, and Martina is Slovenian. They lived both in Italy and Slovenia. Their story shows you can move to Slovenia for love, and not only work. If you are thinking about moving to Slovenia, seeing why Martina decided to go back to Ljubljana and how Marco is adapting to this new country can be perfect for inspiring you.
We interviewed Marco and Martina on Slovenia’s life and how they feel about the country and the living standards here. Let’s take a look at their answers!
Marco and Martina’ Journey From Italy to Slovenia
Marco and Martina have been living in Ljubljana for four years already. Martina had moved to Florence ten years ago and decided to stay. They met there and started dating. After seven years in Florence, they moved back to Slovenia.
Why did you choose to come to Slovenia?
Marco: “We both have different reasons. I chose to move out of Italy because I always liked Slovenia and Slovenians much, so as soon as I had an opportunity to come, I did. I love the people, the country, the food, the lifestyle, how people live and approach life. They are differences between Italians and Slovenians but the best is always to take the good points of each and adapt as much as you can to the new environment. It’s nice to live with a different culture and approach.”
Martina: “Italians are more open at the beginning. They talk a lot about food. Here, in Slovenia, we have more opportunities for work. I speak Italian well so I found a job easily in Florence, I adore Italy, the culture, the food, but I can work here so this is what is important.”
They went to spend the Summer in Slovenia so Marco could learn Slovene and Martina could see her family, and they decided to stay longer at the end, spontaneously. They chose not to go back.
Marco: “I am only able to talk about the weather and drinks (laughs). I didn’t know if I would be able to work here without speaking Slovene but I found a job quite quickly, and after I found it we decided to stay. It was very quick, in one week I got the job after sending some CVs.”
Here in Slovenia, Marco is a web designer, and Martina is managing a small hotel. Martina said, “I like working with tourists, they are a lot of Italian people so that is perfect for me.”
How do you feel about living far from your family and friends?
Marco: “This is one of the closest countries to Italy, so that’s good for me: I am only five hours away from my hometown, Florence, so it is pretty easy. There are many cities in Italy that are even further from Florence so there are not really distance problems as far as I am concerned. We go to Italy almost once a month so it is quite easy.”
Martina and Marco are travelers. In a way, Slovenia is a stop in their life before going to another country.
Martina: “I always wanted to travel, I actually would like to move to another country at some point.”
Marco: “It’s nice because now we have lived in both our home towns so it was cool, but we do not have to stay here forever. We think about going to Spain, why not, it depends on the opportunities, but we are pretty happy here. We never know.”
Discovering and Coming Back to Slovenia
Since they arrived in Slovenia, there have been no problems for Marco and Martina to meet other people, whether Slovenians or expatriates.
Marco: “The first contacts I had were with expats, but since Martina has Slovenian friends it was easy for me. I do not make the difference between Slovenians and expatriates.”
Martina: “We noticed that I was less confident in Italy than here, so the opposite was true for Marco, but it rapidly went well.”
Do you call yourself an expatriate, an immigrant, or a Slovenian?
Martina: “An immigrant (laughs). I’m joking but coming back after some years in Florence made me see things differently, I was always comparing it to Italy. For example, fashion is worst here, I cannot find the clothes that I like. There is less competitivity in Slovenia. Sometimes, Italy is cheaper.”
Indeed, Slovenia developed a lot during the last ten years, and prices got higher than before, especially in housing.
Marco: “I feel that I’m Italian. I like to adapt to this new environment though. I’m not Slovene but I like them a lot.” However, Marco cannot say he is fully integrated into the country’s life: “I’d say that I cannot totally understand 5% of things since I am Italian, I have a different lifestyle, but 95% I feel Slovene.”
Advice for Moving to Slovenia
Would you recommend moving to Slovenia?
“We are already too many expats! (laughs).” Marco explained that places start to be very touristic and that prices are increasing. According to him, Slovenia needs tourists more than expats.
“There are many things to discover in Slovenia, but egoistically speaking, I would like to keep them all for myself (laughs). To be fair, you should come, nature is great, we have great beer. The country can offer you a lot of things.”
We asked this nice couple if they had any advice for people wanting to relocate to Slovenia and they told us: “Be patient, try to understand Slovenians and integrate, don’t be discouraged at the beginning. You will discover Slovenian people in the long term, not in the first place. I assure you they are really nice and fun, go further than the first impression.”
What have been the upsides of Slovenia according to you so far?
Martina: “Strudel! (laughs)”, Marco: “Beer! (laughs)”. Slovenia is a great country for strudel and beer. Still, more seriously, Martina’s favorite thing is nature: “Here everything is great, it is easy to go outside of main cities to some outdoor escapes and there are also many parties if you are integrated.”
In the end, if they could go back four years ago, Marco and Martina told us they would not change their decision of moving to Slovenia.
Marco: “I am very happy to be here, I’m glad we came here, and actually I would have moved to Slovenia sooner if I could.”
Martina: “I’m happy here, I would do it again without hesitating.”
Discover Other Stories
Marco and Martina’s experiences keep confirming other expat’s thoughts that it is nice and worth it to move to relocate and live in Slovenia for a long time. Martina lived abroad and decided to go back to Slovenia. Marco moved here and loved it. If you are thinking about relocating here, this love story (and love for the country) might inpire you take your decision as well.
Still wondering if Slovenia is the right place for you to relocate and come to build a life in Europe? Keep reading the expats stories of other people we interviewed and let yourself get inspired by their experience in Slovenia.